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senator mccain will be talking about syria very shortly. do either of you have any thoughts on that? >> i'm coming back >> senators talking about the passage of the russian trade bill, the vote on the floor of the senate a short while ago was 92-4. a look -- the senate continues in session with a vote coming up likely this afternoon, possible vote on the -- we had bep told there was a news conference happening on c-span. >> good afternoon, i'm here with my colleagues from the senate, senator leeber and senator graham and we are deeply disturbed by reports that assad may have weapononized some of his stores of chemical and biological agents and prepared them for use in aerial bombs. these reports suggests that assad's forces are waiting for orders. if true, these reports may mean that the united states and our allies are facing the prospect of use of weapons of mass destruction in syria and this may be the last warning we get. time for talking about what to do may now be coming to a close and we may be left with an awful and very difficult decision. whether to continue on the said lines an
, democratic future for syria. these are in line with what we and our international partners would result from the formation of the commission last month. as we look at ongoing efforts to support the syrian people, let me be clear 24e678 united states stands with the syrian people in insist that can any transition process result in a peaceful, unified, democratic syria in which all citizens are protected and a future of this kind cannot inlewd al-assad. >> [inaudible] >> that's correct. we provide significant assistance to the syrian people, we proside significant, not lethal, assistance to the opposition. but our position on providing lethal aid has not changed. >> to foe low up -- >> i've got folks in the back. >> defense secretary suggested the syrian government has preparations of chemical weapons and the administration is not as concerned about this as they were last week, is that accurate? and what has changed? >> i'm not going to get into assessments beyond what secretary of defense pa net -- panetta said. i would simply reiterate our clear warning to the assaad regime about the potenti
in syria, possibly even today in that devastating area. certainly perfect partner at the united nations for four years in diligent, excellent, astute, thoughtful, and patriotic service has been susan e. rice, a daughter of washington, d.c., and parents who loved america. a graduate of stanford university where, of course, she earned department honors and university distinction. became a harry s. truman scholar, phi beta kappa, and rhodes scholarship. certainly a beginning that did not warrant the kind of personal attacks that we have seen. i think we should leave politics and campaigns and won or lost races to november 6, 2012. for you cannot debate a political and presidential campaign around a patriotic public servant. if there is a nomination for ambassador rice, the senate has every right to advise and consent and the votes need to be taken on up and down. i can assure you that if she is nominated by the president, she will serve this nation well. as she has done in the past. i know her well as the assistant secretary for african affairs under the clinton administration. dealing wit
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